Three to graduate from Valley Baptist Christian School

By Ryan Cornell

The graduating class at Valley Baptist Christian School could fit inside the backseat of a taxi.

Three students make up the class of 2014: Katelyn Hockema, Shanae Strosnider and Erica Fleming.

Principal Jeff Fauver said last year’s class numbered 10 seniors, and this year’s trio is “just kind of one of those unique things.”

Katelyn, valedictorian of the class, plans to study secondary education and history at Maranatha Baptist Bible College in Watertown, Wisconsin. Fauver said Katelyn has earned a scholarship of about $20,000 to the school, which will pay for her first year and a half.

He said Katelyn was on the volleyball team that ranked first and the basketball team that ranked second in the state’s Old Dominion Association of Church Schools.

At the commencement on Friday, Katelyn will give her valedictory speech and present a medallion to the school’s next student body leader.

Shanae, the class salutatorian, plans to stay local and study nursing.

Erica is headed to Crown College in Tennessee to study early childhood education.

Delivering the commencement address will be Keith Cullers, a missionary who has served in Taiwan for over two decades.

Fauver said Cullers started a church and a school in Taiwan in addition to being an evangelist there.

Cullers’ son, Neil, graduated from Valley Baptist Christian School four years ago and went on to study at West Coast Baptist College in Lancaster, California. Fauver said Neil Cullers will return to the missions field and join his father’s work.

“Hopefully the whole graduation ceremony is based on promoting what they’ve already done, their accomplishments, going forward and continuing their education and finding what the Lord wants you to do,” Fauver said.

The commencement ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. Friday at Valley Baptist Church at 408 Stoney Creek Road in Edinburg.

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com